Unbound Live 3
Le Baron at The Embassy Mayfair in London was the venue last night for Unbound Live 3; an evening of readings, talks and general tomfoolery by a bunch of authors who all have books either funded or part-funded with Unbound Publishing. You get to Le Baron by walking through a set of plush leather-covered doors and descending a staircase. Once you get downstairs, you find a cosy cellar club - very cool, very sophisticated - the kind of place where beat poets have throw-downs and B-list celebs hold birthday parties for their chihuahuas. The first thing that greets you as you walk in the door is a six feet tall sculpture of Mickey Mouse in bright pink fibreglass. Good grief. I’m told it’s a Jeff Koons (it doesn’t look like it to me - it kind of looks more like a Ron English - but I will track down the artist). All I know is that it’s very very scary. And just a little bit humbling.
The second thing I spotted was this notice behind the bar …
… which I immediately took a photo of. Many private clubs do, of course, have a no photo policy. It’s nice to have little havens where the paparazzi are politely invited to feck off. However, because this was an organised event and not a normal members night, I could snap away with impunity. So I did. And here are a few of the pictures I took.
The evening started with a rousing introduction from Unbound co-founder John Mitchinson followed by Mr Robert Llewellyn reading from his Utopian novel News from Gardenia. It’s a lovely book - I’ve read mine already - which has a genuinely positive view of the future. Robert gives us a story in which a chap from the present day is thrown 200 years into the future but, rather than the usual post-apocalyptic or dystopian societies so beloved of Hollywood and sci-fi novelists, in this future we got it right. The book shows us how things could be if we make the right choices now about technology, fuel, even how we choose to live our lives. As you’d expect from someone with Robert’s CV, his reading was funny, animated and great to listen to. But could I wheedle any snippets from him about the new series of Red Dwarf? Could I smeg.